Maryam Nawaz refuses 'better facility' in prison, issues statement from Adiala jail

The three-time Prime Minister and his daughter were arrested by anti-corruption officials upon their arrival in Lahore on Friday night and subsequently taken to Islamabad on a chartered flight.

Maryam Nawaz refuses 'better facility' in prison, issues statement from Adiala jail
Reuters photo

New Delhi: A day after former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were arrested in a corruption case, the former premier's daughter issued a statement that she has refused to apply for the better facilities by the Superintendent of the jail. 

"'I was offered to apply for better facilities by the Superintendent of the Jail. I refused of my own will...without any pressure from anyone," she said in a statement. Maryam is currently lodged in high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. 

The National Accountability Bureau officials took Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, into custody in the Avenfield case, shortly after their arrival at Lahore airport from London via Abu Dhabi. They were flown to Islamabad on a special aircraft and then were taken to the Adiala Jail in separate armoured personnel carriers escorted by police convoys.

The authorities, according to the new plan, have decided to keep the former prime minister and his daughter in the Adiala jail in the garrison city where they have been provided 'B' class facilities, The News reported.

According to a notification issued by the Islamabad administration, they have declared a rest house at the Sihala Police Training College in the capital as a sub-jail to keep the two figures, with immediate effect and until further orders.

However, Geo News quoting sources reported that authorities have decided to keep them at the Adiala Jail for now. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Law and Justice has issued a new notification, saying that the accountability court would conduct a trial of remaining two corruption cases, which include Flagship Investments and Al Azizia Steel Mills, against Sharif and others at the Adiala jail.

Around 10,000 police officers have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order. The Punjab government has suspended mobile and internet services in Lahore. 
Sharif's PML-N party, led by its President and Sharif's younger brother Shahbaz, today managed to take out a rally despite the imposition of section 144 that bars assembly of more than five people. 

Talking to reporters before reaching the airport, Shahbaz said 'a sea of people' has turned up today to give a historic reception to Sharif. 

"The people of Lahore has given a verdict ahead of July 25 polls," he declared. "I am thankful to the people of Lahore for coming out in such a huge number," he said, adding that the people have rejected the decision of the court to convict Sharif and Maryam. 

Speaking to the BBC at Abu Dhabi airport as he waited to change planes, Sharif said: "What credibility will these elections have when the government is taking such drastic action against our people and this crackdown is taking place all over the country?" 

In a video message, tweeted by Maryam, the former premier urged his followers to stand with him and "change the fate of the country". "The country is at a critical juncture right now," a grim-looking Sharif said.

Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case. Sharif has been one of the country's leading politicians for most of the past 30 years. He remains popular, especially in Punjab, the most populous and electorally significant province.

As per the rules class 'B' consists of prisoners who by social status, education or habit of life have been accustomed to a superior mode of living. Habitual prisoners can be included in this class by order of the government, the News reported.

It is learnt that usually A or B class prisoners are educated and give lessons to the uneducated prisoners perhaps in Class C. They do not do hard labour and can be engaged in useful work which is defined as rigorous punishment in their case.

The room of class A and B prisoners are usually equipped with: one cot, one chair, one teapot, one lantern if there is no electric light, a shelf, and necessary washing and sanitary appliances.

The expenses of facilities to prisoners under A or B class such as TV, air-conditioner, fridge, and newspapers are usually paid by prisoners with the permission of jail department, the report added. 

Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively. Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case.

Sharif has been one of the country's leading politicians for most of the past 30 years. He remains popular, especially in Punjab, the most populous and electorally significant province.

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